Toyota unveils adaptable fossil fuel engine prototypes for future

Alongside Mazda and Subaru, Toyota Motor Corp. unveils combustion engine prototypes capable of running on hydrogen in a move to popularise alternative
Toyota reveals hydrogen-capable combustion engines in a push for alternative fuel (AFP)
Toyota reveals hydrogen-capable combustion engines in a push for alternative fuel

Toyota Motor Corp. revealed prototypes of internal combustion engines capable of running on hydrogen, along with gasoline and other fuels, seeking to popularise alternate technologies to reduce carbon emissions.

The world’s biggest carmaker, alongside Mazda Motor Corp. and Subaru Corp., said they’re making progress on developing smaller, more efficient engines compatible with electric-vehicle manufacturing platforms and capable of meeting strict emission regulations.

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Emboldened by robust hybrid-car sales, Toyota and its partners say fuel-burning engines have a role to play even as the industry shifts to battery EVs in a global push to decarbonize. The Japanese manufacturers have long been criticised for hesitating to fully embrace electrification, while BYD Co. and Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. take the lead in battery-based EVs.

“To become carbon neutral, what’s most important is to reduce emissions," Toyota Chief Executive Officer Koji Sato said at a joint briefing with the CEOs of Mazda and Subaru on Tuesday. “What we need is an engine that can efficiently use various types of fuel."

Toyota said Monday it is conducting a study with petroleum company Idemitsu Kosan Co., heavy machinery maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and oil refiner Eneos Holdings Inc. to roll out carbon-neutral fuels in Japan by 2030.

Still, a banner year marked by record-breaking output, operating income and share prices have given Toyota the momentum and cash it will need to make good on promises to roll out millions of battery EVs within the next few years. Last year, Sato vowed Toyota would sell 1.5 million battery EVs annually by 2026, and 3.5 million by 2030.

The company manufactured and sold an unprecedented 11 million vehicles in 2023, beating Volkswagen AG and cementing its status as the world’s No. 1 carmaker for a fourth straight year.

Despite plans to develop new engines, Toyota said it remains committed to EVs. Earlier this month, the company said it would spend an additional ¥500 billion ($3.2 billion) on research and development to decarbonize and develop next-generation software.

First Published Date: 29 May 2024, 07:25 AM IST

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